If a new home has been a long-held fantasy, 2015 may be the year to turn that dream into a reality. As economists and other professionals eye the new year with their predictions, signs are pointing to a healthy year for home buying, and Rodrock Development is at the ready with great inventory in one-of-a-kind communities.
In fact, according to the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Economic Forecast, prospects are brightening for the area.
“The region’s improving rate of job growth is occurring at a time when Greater Kansas City is experiencing a reduction of the percentage of the labor force that is unemployed similar to the nation,” reads the report. “When these two trends are combined, this is expected to put upward pressure on incomes and wages. As a result, total real personal income of residents of the Kansas City metropolitan area is expected to increase even faster than the region’s real economic output.”
In turn, the report says, the construction and real estate industries are also “forecast to experience significant employment growth as the housing market continues to recover in the wake of improving consumer confidence and finances. Increased home buying will spur employment increases in the real estate industry … [and] … construction activity will also increase.”
It’s a confidence that is being felt in the mortgage industry, as well. Ed Rafferty, senior mortgage consultant at CommunityAmerica Credit Union, says he feels pretty optimistic about rates — at least in the first three quarters of the year.
“I feel strongly, with the great builders we have in the K.C. area and the great product they’re producing, that we’ll have a similar year as we did in 2014,” Rafferty said. “2014 was one of the most successful years we’ve had since the bust in 2008. 2014 is ending strong and based off my conversations with builders and Realtors we work with, we should hit the ground running in 2015.”
Rates, Rafferty added, should stay relatively stable in 2015, likely in a trading range of 3.750 percent and 4.250 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
Many other changing factors — new low down-payment mortgage programs and millennials beginning families and settling down — will also pave the way for more first-time homebuyers. Coupled with some fantastic national press giving Kansas City props on its entertainment, food, affordability, friendliness and more, things are heating up in the housing market.
Thankfully, Rodrock Development is at the ready. Olathe’s Stonebridge Meadows has 14 homes, from reverse 11/2-story to two-story abodes, and activity has already started to pick up.
“Lenders have many buyers already coming in to get pre-qualified so they will be ready to buy,” said longtime Rodrock marketing agent Ann Knickrehm.
“We have great inventory, agreed Joan Jacquin, marketing agent at Stonebridge Trails. “We have 12 homes available for immediate to 45-day occupancy. Several are five bedrooms and several are four bedrooms. Stonebridge Trails had an outstanding year and we’re excited about 2015, as we feel we will pass 2014 in total homes sold. The response we’re getting is outstanding and we feel a ‘banner’ year ahead of us.”
Overland Park’s Cottages at Woodridge, which has been fully occupied for months, will have eight ranch homes with two to three bedrooms available for a May move-in. Given the incredible interest in this community, these will likely move quickly.
And Grayson Place is thrilled to have abundant inventory for those planning a spring move. “Many homes will allow the homeowner to make decor selections,” said Mike Slaven, a longtime Rodrock marketing agent. “We have true five-bedroom homes, layouts with main-level offices, walkout and daylight basements, and cul-de-sac and treed home sites. And we even have maintenance-provided homes from the mid $200,000s to the mid $300,000s.”
In another exciting start to the New Year, Darol Rodrock (along with his agents) will host a Realtor Appreciation breakfast for all area real estate agents on Jan. 29 at the Overland Park Marriot. The breakfast is an annual Rodrock Development event to thank agents for their ongoing support. The breakfast has been an incredibly popular, well-attended event, with approximately 600 agents in attendance last year enjoying good food and camaraderie.
“I really appreciate the fact that these agents have shown and sold their buyers our communities over the past 30 years,” Rodrock said.
“It’s a fun way to get everyone together and kick off the New Year,” added Brenda Sanders, president of Rodrock & Associates, Realtors. “Major prizes are always given away as a token of appreciation for all of the agents’ ongoing support.”
“The breakfast is incredibly high energy and inspiring,” said Judy Johns of Keller Williams. “Darol expresses gratitude in a huge, huge way. The breakfast is a gathering of great agents and networking on an über level.”
Rebecca Crain, with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, agreed wholeheartedly. “It’s an event that no agent ever wants to miss; everyone is always really excited about it. It comes after the first of the year, so it’s a good kick-start to get the year going.”
For more information, visit Rodrock.com.